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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

Riha Shah, Travel Grant

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Engineering Management and Barrett Honors student Riha Shah attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Seattle, Washington. While in attendance, she presented her research poster titled, “Machine Learning through K-Clustering Algorithm in Netlogo,” which she has been working on at Virginia Tech under the mentorship of Dr. Luke Achenie. We asked Riha a few questions about her experience.

In layman terms, what was the conference about?

The conference is all about networking with other scientists, professionals, institutions, and even companies in order to exchange research and ideas. The conference includes many research presentations as well as presentations on funding opportunities, research opportunities, and professional networks.

What motivated you to present at this conference? 

Being an Engineering Management student, I did not have much exposure to research so when I got the opportunity to do research at Virginia Tech, I wanted to share my experience with other students. Machine learning is a concept not taught in the Engineering Management curriculum at ASU so it was something very new and exciting for me.

Can you tell us about some of the presentations you attended?

One presentation that I attended was about Global Health in the United States and the many opportunities available in the field for people that are interested. Through this presentation, I learned that one does not need to come from a strictly science background to enter into the “Global Health” industry. It needs just as many diverse minds and people from different functions as it does people with a science background.

What would you say was the best part of the conference?

The best part of the conference was meeting so many professionals from different backgrounds and also the opportunity to talk to so many graduate schools that were present there.

Has your involvement with this conference influenced your research plans?

Yes, I definitely do want to do some more research in machine learning because everyone I talked to made me realize how diverse and complex machine learning is.

What did you wish you knew prior to the conference? 

Nothing, I feel like I was very well prepared due to the help from colleagues and FURI.

Any suggestions for other students regarding conferences? 

It is very very important to have business cards made for yourself that you can hand out at conferences and other professional networking events. The amount of people you meet during these events is so high and business cards are a good way to make sure that you stand out and that the person remembers you.

If you plan on attending a conference to present your research, apply to get funded with the FURI Travel Grant!


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